In The Whitefire Crossing: The Shattered Sigil, Book 1, fantasy writer Courtney Schafer combines adept storytelling with a deep knowledge of mountain climbing to bring listeners Dev, a smuggler who specializes in carrying items through the steep, treacherous Whitefire Mountains that divide the magical city of Ninavel and the magic-secular country of Alathia. Under Andy Caploe's intense narration, Dev comes alive as a confident, charismatic force, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats with his challenging mission to transport a young magician's apprentice, Kiran, into the safety of Alathia. Full of magic, subterfuge, and adventure, Book 1 of The Whitefire Crossing is a surefire bet for fans of narrative fantasy and quest stories.
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.
But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.
Yet Kiran isn't the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.
©2011 Courtney Schafer (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I loved this story! It was fast-paced, kept its sense of mystery and urgency to the end, and I found both of the main characters really likeable. The author has built an interesting world with an unusual take on magic. I couldn't stop listening and I find myself impatient for the next book!
Andy Caploe made this story fun to listen. The first 1/2 of the books was real exciting, but it kind of petered out in the conclusion. There is a good twist to the ending. Overall well worth the read.
Elitist Book Reviews
A decent debut.
The depictions of climbing in a fantasy setting were phenomenal. The characters (once I started reading the book rather than listening) were pretty good.
No. Never. I just checked to see if I'd purchased anything else narrated by him and found, to my relief, that I hadn't. He voice-work is awful. He sounds like one of those robot voice programs. He made all the character sound like whiny children, when in fact they were actually pretty good.
Extreme reaction? Yeah, I had to stop listening to the book and buy a physical copy just to enjoy it. This narrator should never read anything aloud again.
Overall, the story is good and fairly original. The ending delves into the convenient to make it work, but I would read the sequel. Note, I said "READ". I will never listen to another book narrated by Andy Caploe. I'm trying to figure out if I can request a refund for this audio presentation. It's not the author's fault. She does fine.
My daughter wrote a story once about a trip with her cousin to the bounce house and CiCi's pizza. I also listened to a 90 year old man with a sinus infection eat a sandwich for a half hour. Both were more enjoyable than this.
I think I'm done with Audible until I really really need to listen to a book. This was the dealbreaker. I waited so long for a precious credit and wasted it on this.The absolute worst thing I've ever heard. I know it's not Audible's fault, but I'm so angry that this even exists that I have to take it out on someone. Sorry Audible, you've gotten me through some long days, but I think we should take some time apart.
I kind of feel sorry for him. What tricks did this guy have to turn to be paid to read a published work aloud? I lost a contact rolling my eyes so hard. Like every character to sound like Bill S. Preston, Esquire? This is the book for you. I hope you don't read to your kids at night Andy.
That's not really the issue right now, Audible. The issue is Andy Caploe. A bad book was made infinitely worse by this man. I listened "at" it because I was so put off by the narration. In between the groans and facepalming I had to pull the plug a few times because I was embarrassed for him and couldn't go on.
This book is ear-rape.
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